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The research cooperation aims to create a large engine using “green ammonia.”

The research cooperation aims to create a large engine using “green ammonia.”

A research collaboration between the Tyrolean gas engine manufacturer Innio based in Jenbach in Tirol (formerly GE Jenbacher) and the Large Engine Research Center in Graz, the Large Engine Efficiency Center (LEC), is working on a large engine powered by “green ammonia”. As part of the cooperation, a research engine using this green fuel has already been successfully tested, a joint press conference in Innsbruck said.

Andreas Kunz, CTO of the Innio Group, explained when asked that the “full engine”, which will also be offered to customers in a wide range of fields, will most likely be available at the end of 2024. He stressed that, like the current search engine, it will run in The finish is 100 percent “green ammonia.”

Ammonia is easy to produce industrially

Ammonia — which is formed naturally when animal waste and dead plants decompose — has a crucial advantage: “This mixture of nitrogen and hydrogen can be produced industrially in large quantities quite easily,” Kunz says. It is therefore rightly considered the “key to global decarbonisation” in the hydrogen economy.

After all, a lot can be envisioned with this fuel and the engines that run on it, as Andreas Wimmer, CEO of LEC and professor at Graz University of Technology, explained: “With this fuel and large engines, you can work efficiently and achieve long-term goals.” Green ammonia production is also truly “green”: “It is produced using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy.”

Currently, the “ammonia engine”, which is researched and developed as part of the Austrian COMET (Competence Center for Excellent Technologies) research programme, still needs improvement. Wimmer explained that “there are still many topics that need to be modified,” but he did not want to specify the content further. However, it is important that “the rules and framework conditions are quickly clarified and defined by politicians,” and Coons helped him with this question.

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Rosy prospects

Henrietta Eggerth Stadlhuber, Executive Director of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, said that the future of this engine and “green ammonia” itself looks very bright. “Drivers like this and this research represent important building blocks in the green transition,” she said.

State Counselor for Economic Affairs Mario Gerber (ÖVP) also stressed the importance of these concrete research efforts: “Something like this must be addressed, especially in times when the economy is heading towards difficult times.” “Owner” Markus Hofer, managing director of the Tyrol location agency, where the press conference was held, similarly argued: “A very tangible product is being created here that combines business and research.”

Incidentally, “green ammonia” could play an important role in the future not only as a “green fuel” in large engines – for example in marine shipping. As a means of storing energy and transporting green hydrogen, ammonia also has the potential to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.